Fall 2016

EDITOR: Renée Hartleib

ART DIRECTION: Spectacle Group, C. Lynn Redmond BA’99

COVER PHOTO: Meghan Tansey Whitton

CONTRIBUTORS: Erin Elaine Casey, Tim Damon, Renée Hartleib, Lezlie Lowe, Suzanne Robicheau, Jordan Whitehouse

ALUMNI DIRECTOR: Mary Ann Daye BComm’85

ALUMNI OFFICERS: Marla Douglas MBA’13, Emily LeBlanc


ADVERTISING: (902) 420-5420

ALUMNI COUNCIL PRESIDENT: President: Mary-Evelyn Ternan MEd’88, BEd’70, BA’69

VICE-PRESIDENT: Sarah Ferguson CMA BComm’09

SECRETARY: Dan Rudisuela BComm’07, MBA’08

ALUMNI COUNCIL: Kirk Emery BA’09; Frank Gervais DipEng’58; Stephanie Gill BComm’13; Mukul Gupta BSc’14; Dongsheng Li BComm’15; Jennifer Liu BComm’12; Bafana Mashingaidze BSc’14; Jennifer McClelland BA’10; Myles McCormick MEd’89, MA’87, BEd’77, BA’76; Scott McElman BComm’91; Mike McKenzie BComm’80; Jason Mullen BA’98; Scott Noddin BComm’10; Karen Ross BComm’77; John Sime BComm’08; Kaitlyn Touesnard BComm’13; Allen Wolfe BA’09; Chris Morrissey EMBA’14; Brenda Allen BA’96; Chen Qing BComm’14; Collette L. Robert BSc’15

ALUMNI REPRESENTATIVES ON THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS: Wayne Crawley BComm’84; Greg Dickie BComm’03; Myles McCormick MEd’89, MA’87, BEd’77, BA’76; Mary-Evelyn Ternan MEd’88, BEd’70, BA’69; Mary-Lou Donnelly BA’78, BEd’79 MEd’88; Karen Ross BComm’77

Maroon & White is published for alumni and friends of Saint Mary’s University. Circulation: 29,000 Please send address changes, suggestions, and snippets to: Saint Mary’s University Alumni O ce, 923 Robie St, Halifax, NS B3H 3C3 | T: (902) 420-5420 | F: (902) 420-5140 | E: alumni@smu.ca | smu.ca/alumni

Please send address changes, suggestions, and snippets to: Saint Mary’s University Alumni Office.

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Featured Articles:

Cooperation & Success in Nova Scotia’s Wine Industry

Lorraine Vassalo looks out her office window beyond the brackish Avon River toward the expanse of North Mountain. Around her on the Avon Peninsula sprawl 23 bountiful acres of grape vines. This is no small scene. But it’s the top-half of the portrait that really makes it—the sky. Today, a calm grey stippled with darker streaks.

“Remarkable” is one word Vassalo has for it, a view…

The Paddling Husky

Mark James, a sprint canoer who graduated in 2015 with an undergraduate degree in commerce, knows a thing or two about getting his feet wet. After being introduced to canoeing at the age of four, James now has his sights set on competing in the canoe sprint at the 2020 Summer Olympics. 

“Canoeing is an emotional experience that I think every Canadian should feel,” he says. “The…

Career Defying

Whether through luck or sheer determination, Kebba Touray has always found a way to defy expectations.    

Growing up in a small village in the Central River Region of The Gambia, for instance, where few children could get a formal education in the early 1980s, Touray was the lucky one; out of five siblings, his stepdad chose him to go to primary school. 

Even after excelling…

New Adventure

Growing up, Steven Laffoley never saw himself as an educator—or as a writer. “I was a kid for whom education had not made its mark,” he says, laughing. “I owe it all to the Halifax Grammar School and Saint Mary’s.” Today, Laffoley is both a distinguished chronicler of Nova Scotia history and the new Headmaster of the Halifax Grammar School.

After leaving his home outside Boston…

Life Lessons

More than three decades have passed since Brian Fulton BA’85 faced off as centre for the hockey Huskies. There’s no ice time required in his new role as President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc., but he’s still predicting moves, reading plays, and looking for opportunities: skills he attributes to a well-rounded education at Saint Mary’s University. 

“My CEO training began…

Hands-On Training

While her friends were tuning into CSI, Meaghan Huculak grew up watching TLC’s Cold Cases. “I’ve always been fascinated by forensic science and wanted to see real life stories of how science was used to solve crimes,” says the Saint Mary’s grad.

That desire is what led the Ajax, Ontario native to major in Forensic Science and specialize in Physical Anthropology at the University…

Campus Notes:

Letter from the President of the Alumni Association

As my two-year term as Alumni President comes to a close, I am reminded of what a wonderful family we have at Saint Mary’s. It was a privilege to have represented over 44,000 Alumni who are in the four corners of the globe. Our university is a vibrant and world-class institution. We should all take great pride in it. I am amazed by the variety of programs that are offered and by the exceptional…

A Tree Grows at Saint Mary’s

One of the most recently planted trees on Saint Mary’s campus celebrates a long-standing relationship with Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai (BNUZ). Faculty members and administrators from BNUZ marked the completion of a 14-day summer institute at Saint Mary’s by planting a Seven Sons Flower Tree. A fragrant member of the Honeysuckle family, this rare tree was once threatened, but is now subject…

Twitter Praise

Heralded as the world’s first Twitter-controlled telescope, the Dr. Ralph Medjuck Telescope in Saint Mary’s Burke-Gaffney Observatory made the cut when Twitter celebrated its 10th birthday by highlighting the top ten unique uses of the social media platform for 2016. 

Many observatories use Twitter as a way to reach out
to the public, but it’s generally humans on a keyboard…

Making Healthcare Healthier

Looking for a graduate program that prepares students to tackle key issues in health policy research, delivery, and administration? Look to Saint Mary’s new Master of Applied Health Services Research (MAHSR) program, now accepting its first students. Funded by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation in partnership with the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit, the MAHSR program is offered in collaboration…

Strengthening Global Connections

Both Saint Mary’s University and the Province of Nova Scotia will benefit from a recent gift of $1 million from David Wang, the manager of a Nova Scotia curriculum high school in China and a very good friend of Saint Mary’s. The David Wang Scholarship Fund will support eight prestigious scholarships of $20,000 per year. What makes these scholarships unique is that they are awarded to Chinese…

Buried Treasure

Thanks to a geophysical survey, Saint Mary’s researchers are one step closer to solving a more than 250-year old mystery. In the continuation of an investigation begun by Saint Mary’s professor Jonathan Fowler, a team of Anthropology students led by adjunct professor, Dr. Eric Henry, has uncovered evidence of the long-buried remains of a star-shaped fort near Nova Scotia’s historic Lunenburg Academy.…

Pulling Together for the Greater Good

For the fourth year in a row, the Saint Mary’s Enactus team competed against teams from more than 60 Canadian universities to place in the top four in Canada at the National Enactus Exposition. The Saint Mary’s team also shone as second runner up in the Scotiabank Eco-Living Challenge for an environmental project that diverted almost 2400 lbs. of waste from landfills by upcycling material for…

Women’s Rugby Moves

Two stellar contributors to Saint Mary’s women’s rugby are switching roles this year. Assistant coach, Amber Davison, takes over responsibilities as head coach and former head coach, Megan Kinsman, assumes the role of assistant coach. Davison played with the Acadia Axewomen for five years and was a member of Team Atlantic. She continues to play with the Nova Scotia Senior Women’s Keltics.…

Inspiring Competition

Thanks to the generosity of Saint Mary’s alumni Mike and Catherine Durland, three teams from our Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MTEI) program each received a prize of $20,000 in the 2nd annual Durland Innovation Fund Competition. The winning projects were ProTell, a wearable technology designed to help those who suffer from sickle cell anemia; SWAP, a security technology…

Mirroring the United Nations

Saint Mary’s University’s Model UN delegation, headed by Political Science Chair, Dr. Marc Doucet, was one of only four delegations from Canadian universities to be awarded a Distinguished Delegation Award at the 2016 National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference. The Saint Mary’s team competed against 5,500 students from more than 400 schools, debating, negotiating, and drafting resolutions…

Distinguished Teaching Award

Saint Mary’s psychology professor Dr. Maryanne Fisher continues to be honoured and acknowledged for her teaching excellence. Dr. Fisher was recently awarded a 2016 Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) Distinguished Teaching Award. This annual award recognizes excellence in teaching and educational leadership. Since joining the Saint Mary’s Department of Psychology in 2004, Dr. Fisher has…

Making an Impact

Two programs offered by the Sobey School Business Development Centre —Options and The Spark Zone—took “Best in North America” at the Global Best Awards, sponsored by the Conference Board of Canada and the International Partnership Network. A previous Global Best Awards winner, Options has successfully helped more than 300 marginalized-youth transition into jobs and further education through…

Prize Winning Author Picks Prize Winning Author

Judging the Giller Prize is no easy feat—even for 2010 Giller finalist Dr. Alexander MacLeod, a prize-winning author and Saint Mary’s professor of English and Atlantic Canada Studies. As part of his duties as a juror for the 2015 Giller Prize, Dr. MacLeod read 168 works of Canadian fiction in seven months. He also had countless Skypes, conference calls, and meetings with fellow jurors, before…

Alumni News:


September 30 - October 4, 2020

Alumni Events

Past Alumni Event Photos


We are always pleased to hear about the diverse experiences and accomplishments of our alumni and to share these stories with you.

Class Notes

Find out what other alumni from our year are up to.

In Memoriam

Death notices and obituaries